Laws for Paraplegic Drivers and Vehicles

One aspect of driving as a disabled person which is generally overlooked is in fact the laws pertaining to its legality in the first place, if you live in either the US or UK then this page is specifically for you.

Although I cannot with confidence say the laws for these two countries necessarily apply to other countries you’ll find that for developed countries there’s a strong likelihood of such an occurrence.

The Americans with disabilities act of 1990 grants paraplegic or otherwise handicapped individuals the right to drive a vehicle assuming that they can pass their test just like any other American citizen.

Passing the test requires practice with the various types of paraplegic driving equipment designed to provide real solutions to issues such as the lacking motor skills in the person’s leg(s).

Laws for the Disabled Driving of Vehicles

If there are further medical complications (such as infrequent seizures or blackouts) then a doctor’s analysis must take place.

Passing your driver’s license test is one thing, but if you have occasional blackouts which are only infrequent then it doesn’t mean you can drive just because you can pass your test.  You’re still a clear danger to yourself and most importantly others.

When you take the test you can obviously use your equipment, however it’s worth recognizing that even with assistive equipment driving is not always possible if your ailments are serious enough.

There are plenty of different types of aids out there which will make driving possible for almost everyone’s situation, but if you are a quadriplegic then your chances of being able to drive are significantly smaller than if you are a paraplegic with use of your arms.

  • There are plenty of complications which arise because disabilities are rarely as simple as not being able to use your legs.

Regulations for Driving a Car as a Paraplegic

Someone may have a weak arm and grasp but have their left leg still functional.  In this case it’s clearly a worse option to use the left leg for braking and accelerate using your weaker hand because the acceleration requires a much more consistent effort.

In this scenario it would be worth installation a left foot gas pedal such as by GuidoSimplex which would allow you to utilize your leg strength to use the gas and allow your weaker arm only occasional effort to brake.

There are many different combinations of illnesses which can course all sorts of problems and as such there are innovative solutions afoot to deal with most of these issues.

  • There are nearly a dozen steering wheel aids by MPS Monarch which are designed to assist the driver in turning the wheel as safely, comfortably and quickly as possible.

Ultimately one issue which is likely to hold you back is actually finding a disabled car dealership which stocks and installs (if a professional installation is necessary) the gear which you need.  I countries such as America where things are incredibly spread out due to the large land mass finding the right shop can be difficult.

Ultimately laws in both the UK and US are very similar in protecting the freedom and rights of drivers so long as they can drive to a level of safety like everyone else.

Got a Question? A Comment? I personally answer them all myself.